NOT DOING #NaNoWriMo Writing Plans

People keep asking me: Are you doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)?
I say, “No.”
They seem surprised.

I decided to explain.
Here are my NOT DOING #NaNoWriMo Writing Plans:

    1. Job-hunting. Must do. Have to get some income besides the trickle of pennies my 2 ebooks currently provide. Hope to add GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT to my list of November activities by November 30, which is more important than adding thousands of words to my computer. For me. This involves writing: cover letters, emails, queries. Hundreds of words. To people (or ‘bots….).

    cover-letter-words

    image from http://www.nerdwallet.com

      2. Marketing Ongoing. Trying to upgrade my trickle of ebooks’ sales’ pennies to a stream to a flow to a… .well, you get the idea. Includes blogging, tweeting, commenting on others’ blogs, guest blogging, reblogging with comments added, promoting my ebooks in The Spanners Series, begging for more reviews for my ebooks, writing reviews on Goodreads and posting them to Amazon of books I may get a chance to read and review, promoting my G+ HOA, *CHANGES*, and hosting the almost-weekly talk show on Wednesdays (10 AM EST USA).
      This involves writing: blog posts, site posts, tweets, comments, reviews, promos, emails (mostly to *CHANGES* guests and reviewers). Hundreds and probably thousands of words. For social media.

      begging

      image from http://www.rexrobotreviews.com

        3. Writing novels Ongoing. I am about half-way through Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change of The Spanners Series and wish to finish it this fall. I had planned to finish Vol III and work more on Vol IV, which I’ve barely started, by the end of August but a serious accident/concussion postponed achieving these goals by many months. I also have to finish collecting and reworking the researched bits that belong to these Volumes and perhaps future ones. This includes coming up with and agreeing on a cover design for Vol III with my cover artist, Aidana Willowraven.
        This involves writing: For the rest of Vol III and I hope some of Vol IV, Changes in Attitude/Changes in Latitude, as well. Tens of thousands of words. For novels.

        Cut pieces of paper with text on SEO theme. Isolated on white.

        image from http://thenovelfactory.blogspot.com

          4. Editing/Proofreading All of the above require both, and perhaps I will do some for hire (I hope). I’m available. Will negotiate: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com
          This involves writing by rewriting, hundreds and thousands of words, many times. For improving all writing. Everywhere.

        needs-to-be-edited

        image from http://hsquiresnovels.com
        (“edit” should have quotes around it…)

        Why am I not doing NaNoWriMo? I’m BUSY writing!

        I wish I could take a month and work only on ONE novel/project!

        Good luck to all who are doing NaNoWriMo!

Another Reason Why Reviews Are So Important

Authors ALWAYS appreciate #reviews! Especially this one, for Volume II, “This Changes My Family and My Life Forever,” of “The Spanners Series.” http://www.sallyember.com/SPANNERS for info

Author P.S. Bartlett

Getting listed on book suggestion web sites.

I’d really love to be able to have The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge included in the Fussy Librarian email book suggestions but unfortunately, I still only have 5 reviews on Amazon.

The Fussy Librarian requires 10 reviews and at least a 4.0 rating.

I’m crossing my fingers and toes this week that some of you wonderful folks who have either purchased the book or won it for free in a raffle or contest, will find a few minutes to post your reviews. Thank you so much!!!

*The Fussy Librarian emails you with the e-books matching your unique interests and content preferences.

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Welcome to an Interview with (the wonderful) Olga Nunez Miret

Great interview! I loved that you included an excerpt and asked such great questions, David: you did some of my “homework” for me, since I’m having Olga on my *CHANGES* Google+ Hangout on Air on 11/19/14, 10 – 11 EST USA, in a LIVE conversation! Please join us or visit the Youtube video afterwards!
Details and URLs will be on http://www.sallyember.com/CHANGES about 5 days prior to the show.
Best to you all!

Sally Ember

barsetshirediaries

Welcome to an Interview with : Olga Nunez Miret

_DSC7545

Author of. I Love Your Cupcakes

definitiu_5,5x8,5(13,97x21,59cm)_ing_(2)

A brief synopsis.

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only ever talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love?

With dogs, fire trucks, London double-decker buses, school buses, artists, chemists, engineers, architects, intrigue, scandals, bigamy, and…

View original post 2,906 more words

CONTROVERSY: #Buddhists and #Organ Donation at #Death

As some of you know, I have been a practicing #Buddhist in the #Tibetan #Vajrayana #Nyingma tradition since 1989, informally, and since 1996, formally (in this life, anyway…). These traditions, as taught to me originally by the late His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche and by many of the Western Lamas he ordained, including my current teacher, Lama Padma Drimed Norbu (Lama Drimed, as he is known), include very specific preparations for death which we do as a part of our daily practices as well as recommendations as to how we want others to handle our dying and death processes and manage our dead bodies.

CTR

H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

In fact, packets and instructions have been sent to students detailing what to give loved ones, friends, medical professionals and hospice workers–anyone attending our dying process and death event—so that, if we are unable to verbally convey our last wishes, everyone will know what we want to happen (and not happen). These written instructions, which each person can modify to their choosing, have been very comforting and useful for the friends and sangha (Buddhist community) members who have faced this while dying or being around meditators who are dying or who have just died.

Because Buddhists in our tradition (and many others) believe that a recently deceased person’s consciousness stays in or around the body for many days after death (up to 49, but certainly the first 3 – 7, for meditators), most directions talk about not moving or even touching the body (or touching it only in specific places, avoiding touching the bottoms of the feet, for example) in order to help the deceased meditators maintain the meditation and move our consciousness intentionally onward while we are are “in” this bardo period (between place/time, rough translation).

Buddhists have special rituals, such as Sur and P’howa, taught and practiced daily or weekly, which involve visualizations and prayers. We also usually include “offerings” of incense or other burnt substances (as in Sur) and music, such as the clanging of the tingshas (small, heavy ritual cymbals) or ringing of bells, and chanting specific mantras to honor, assist and “feed” the recently deceaseds’ wandering spirits during this time.

To commemorate someone’s death, we also light butterlamps (oil lamps or candles suffice), release animals from captivity who were marked for death (bait fish, worms and prey animals in pet stores, for example), dedicating the merit of these actions to their passing more positively while in the bardo and when entering into their next lifetime.

fish release saving lives

“Taiwanese Buddhists release catfish into a river during a ‘mercy release’ ceremony in Taipei.” image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk

With all of this attention to maintaining the dignity and meditation of the dying and dead person, how/when could one donate organs? Sangha members posed these questions to Rinpoche before he passed and to living teachers, with mixed responses. Some indicate that if you want to be an organ donor, you have to choose to give up your chance to do these practices during and after dying/death. Personally, I think this view is an opinion that could be challenged. However, it is widely circulated.

So far, I don’t know of any sangha members who died who also donated their organs, and several have died in the last ten years whom I knew personally and well. I decided to be an organ donor before practicing Buddhism in this life and I have signed up in every state I’ve lived in since, including my most recent move to Missouri, whenever I get a new driver’s license.

I believe in organ donation because it’s the right thing to do, in my mind. Also, six people I know and love received life-saving organ and/or bone marrow donations. I was tested (but not selected) to be one of those donors about twelve years ago.

Jaye Laughing

My dear, recently departed friend, Jaye Alper, enjoying her extra years because of a donated kidney.

How do I reconcile being an organ donor with being a serious meditator who does these time-of-death practices? Like this: None of these pre-modern-science meditators ever faced these decisions and dilemmas, so how could they have prepared for, much less taught about how to make organ donation choices?

Points to consider:

  • Our consciousness does not reside in this body; we use it for a while and then our consciousness moves on. We Buddhists all agree on that, yes?
  • This existence is all illusory, including being in this body.
  • The highest act of generosity anyone can make is to give one’s body. We visualize this in Chöd practice and other meditations daily; why not DO it? Actually GIVE our body parts!
  • At my time of death (and right before, if I’m brain-dead but not physically dead, yet), the most useful thing I can do is to donate my organs so that others may live, see, breathe, etc., by using them.
  • I certainly won’t be needing my organs any longer at that point.
  • If my commitment to meditation practice is strong and steady, it won’t matter where my consciousness “is” when this body is dying and dies. How could it? How much can it really matter where and how this body is moved or touched, then?

Also, and I don’t mean to sound condescending, I believe that a large portion of Buddhist tradition and thought, particularly that which comes from Tibet, is steeped in the superstitions, fears and other unsupportable beliefs that pre-dated Buddhism, such as those from Bön. Furthermore, indigenous Shamanic traditions rooted in many Buddhist cultures share these older views.

However, our commitments to practice generosity, be less selfish, try to make others happy, and our motivation to save lives and alleviate suffering are supposed to triumph over fears for all of these faiths. I hope we can agree on donating organs in these modern times.

Most Motor Vehicle Bureaus have a organ donor registration as part of the license-getting or -renewal process. if you don’t drive, find a way to become listed as an organ donor. Get tested to be a live donor by participating in the Bone Marrow registry as well.

organ_donor_card_

We are all going to die. We meditate on impermanence, on death, every day. We get used to it, as meditators. Let’s do more than become accustomed to death: let’s use it for benefiting others.

Death-meditation

image from: http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com

How great it is to live in a time that allows us to gift others with our body parts and help them live better, healthier, longer lives? As we get closer to the USA celebration of Halloween and the Mexican commemoration, El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), 10/31, how fitting is it to consider death in productive ways?

Click below to sign up and become a registered donor. Pass this on, please.

http://www.transplants.org/become-organ-donor

Misogyny: Every Little Bit Matters

Excellent insights and very timely. I especially like this part: “No more placing ‘heroic’ males athletes next to scantily clad, seen-but-not-heard women. No more objectification of women in ‘family-friendly’ venues and outlets. No more making excuses for abusers just because we’d rather not view them as such.”

The Melissaverse

I have been forced, through sheer volume of Twitter exposure, to learn what #Gamergate is.

I’m not a gamer. Never have been. I have no reason to take any interest at all in the internal politics of the gaming community. But there’s this stupid hashtag peppering my Twitter feed, compelling me to find out what the hell it means.

Well, sort of. I know what some of its proponents say it means and I know what basically all of its opponents say it means. To be frank, I don’t care how it started (actually, given that the term was coined by Adam Baldwin, I’m actively bummed to know how it started) or whether the original accusation of bias has any merit (seems like it doesn’t, but I’m not going to do enough research to be able to speak with any authority on that). Here’s what I care about: Gamergate…

View original post 758 more words

Love an Author Leave a Review

PLEASE leave reviews! THIS author especially needs them for Volume II, “This Changes My Family and My Life Forever,” of “The Spanners Series.”

Official Site of Alex Laybourne - Author

support-author

I know that this is a drum much beaten, but there really is no better way of showing your support for an author than by leaving a review.

ReviewAs the indie writing culture continues to develop, and strengthen its place in the writing structure (and in the term Indie I include self published writers, for the sake of not having to write it individually every time), the importance of effective advertising is becoming even more evident.

A lot of writers, myself included, do not have a big budget to operate on. Personally speaking, I don’t even have the disposable income to run a $5 Facebook promotion without seriously having to rebudget the family groceries for the week ahead.

Using Facebook groups and blogs is good. Social Media is a growing beast and has a reach that offers more than enough potential readers to justify the free postings and link shouts…

View original post 214 more words

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but
We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

Of course that is true. Books about women’s experiences in choosing to have an abortion, having it, living with the decision, have these titles:

In Necessity and Sorrow, Peace after an Abortion, Healing after an Abortion, Dealing with the Emotional Aftermath of an Abortion, and similar.

Why in 2014, DECADES AFTER after the clarity of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, is women’s right-to-choose to terminate a pregnancy in the USA even in question?

Here is one main reason: MEN. More than a few very loud, conservative/reactionary, unfeeling, uncaring, ignorant and idiotic men. I call these men names with great care: they deserve every one of these appellations.

Men do not get pregnant

image from http://msmagazine.com

Last winter, Republican Allan Rothlisberg (Junction City, CA) who serves on a major House Committee (Commerce, Labor and Economic Development), stated: “If I was a woman over 50, I wouldn’t need gynecological services” (1/14/14). Bad grammar aside, the guy is a moron when it comes to women’s health care requirements.

Unfortunately, he is TYPICAL of the men in leadership positions spouting garbage. Offensive ridiculousness comes regularly out of those such as Todd Akin (R-Missouri), who invented the delightful term “legitimate rape” and claimed that there is no need for abortion to be legal in the case of rape because “women can just shut that down,” meaning, decide not to become fertilized, when we are raped.

I am not making this up.

Here is the other reason: RELIGION. Or, rather, the co-optation of Christian religious tenets and beliefs, tailoring and lying about the original teachings to “support” their platform. Nevermind that the same people who call themselves “pro-life” vote down tax increases or any funding for FEEDING, HOUSING, EDUCATING, and MAINTAINING HEALTH for actual, living children and adults, and that these same politicians and their supporters also want to exclude immigrants all together from ALL services. So much for being “pro-life” or even following their own Christian precepts.

Jesus policy preferences

image from http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com

As we approach another election, one in which the entire House of Representatives is up for grabs (and this part of Congress is the most culpable when it comes to misappropriation of politics and abusing their power in the name of religion), some facts seem important to know regarding abortion, a key issue (again). Please share. Please talk about this. I know I’m probably “preaching to the choir,” but we all have friends and relatives who could be better informed, and we ALL need to VOTE!

Who gets abortions in the USA?

What are the ages of women having abortions?

Anti-choice marketers would have us believe that most abortion-seekers are “irresponsible teenagers” who need “counseling” and “guidance,” implying that ignorance, carelessness, selfishness and a wanton disregard for life are influencing circumstances and driving abortion decisions.

However (big shock), they are incorrect. Only a small percentage (0.4%) of females who obtained abortions in this time period were under 15 years old. Interestingly, almost equal percentages (7 – 8%) were for women ages 15 – 17 and also for women 35-39. What types of circumstances and emotional characteristics could these demographic groups have in common, besides having an unwanted pregnancy?

ages of women abortion

82% of the women who had abortions in the 11-year period, 1999-2010, were between the ages of 18 – 34, with 34% as the largest single group, and it was for women ages 20 – 24.

Unsurprisingly, “older” women (NOT “ignorant” or in need of “guidance”) also get pregnant and decided to terminate the pregnancy: about 3% were over 40 years old.

What the reasons women choose abortion?

The conservative, anti-choice movement wants us to believe that the “primary” reasons for women’s choosing abortion are “selfish” and therefore not to be supported by law or community attitude. Their pie chart tries to illustrate that “most” women who have abortions do so because a pregnancy comes at the “wrong time” and /or they are “not ready” to have a child at that time. Even so, by their own research (which is questionable), only about one-quarter (27%) of the women gave that as their “primary” reason.

However, look at what the other survey options were and you can understand how so many chose the “not ready” category:

  • “Lack of maturity” Who is going to self-select that reason? Very few: 8%
  • “Relationship Issues” This is so broad as to be almost useless as a survey option. Only 9% selected this.
  • “Fetal Health Concerns” and “Maternal Health Concerns” each received about the same, 3% – 4%, matching “School or Career Concerns” with 4% as well. These combined total about 12%, or one-eighth of the respondents.
  • “Can’t afford the baby” (whose wording is already emotionally loaded, labeling the fetus a “baby” and then impugning the woman’s financial status at the same time) still garnered an almost equal percentage to those who said they weren’t “ready,” at 25%.
  • “Finished childbearing” is fraught with judgment as well, but nonetheless, 20% selected this as their primary reason for terminating the pregnancy.
  • “Rape” unsurprisingly received less than any, at 0.1%, while “Incest” isn’t on this chart (one could argue that all incest is rape, but to exclude it as a reason is significant, since conservatives keep voting down the right to choose, even in the case of rape or incest….).

AbortionReasons

image from http://www.conservapedia.com

The actual facts about USA women and abortion

About half of all women experience at least one unintended pregnancy in our lifetimes. This occurs mostly due to the fact that ALL birth control, even when used correctly and consistently, has a failure rate of at least 1% and most are worse.

Birth control failure rates

image from http://www.abovetopsecret.com

The “Pill,” which is usually thought of as “effective,” fails almost 9% of the time. That means almost 1 out of every 10 women who rely on the Pill for birth control will become pregnant while taking it. In addition to causing all kinds of problems for the women that they were not expecting (no pun intended), pregnant women do not know they are pregnant until many months into the pregnancy (usually when the baby moves), which means the mothers are taking these hormones throughout the crucial first trimester. Birth control pills can have adverse effects on developing fetuses which usually causes birth defects and/or problems for these people later in life because of hormonal imbalances while they were developing in utero. The risk of ectopic pregnancies is also higher in women taking oral contraceptives after conception (which shouldn’t have occurred, but does).

Even worse, women who conceive while using spermicidal forms of birth control are counseled to have abortions because babies born to women using spermicides have astronomical rates of birth defects, up to and including stillbirth. The lesser problems include dwarfism, muscles missing or non-functional (eyelids’ muscles do not work, for example, so the eyes can’t fully open, which, without surgery, leads to blindness in newborns), hip displasia, clubfoot, cleft palate, and worse (New England Journal of Medicine), most of which, if reparable, require one or more surgeries and expensive rehabilitation.

Spermicide problems

image from http://www.nejm.org

Despite these facts, only about one-third of women who unintentionally become pregnant choose to have an abortion. This could be due to the fact that, of those with unintended pregnancies, about 60% already have one child. As I mentioned at the start: NO woman WANTS to have an abortion, and those who have already carried a pregnancy to term, parented a child, are even less likely to terminate. Statistics bear this out: most mothers choose NOT to terminate.

Furthermore, to refute another of the conservatives’ most specious arguments: the majority (73%) of women who choose to terminate a pregnancy ARE “religiously affiliated,” which means we are not ALL “godless heathens” (although, as a Buddhist, I am proud to be “godless” and couldn’t care less about being called a “heathen”).

Abortion stats actual

image from http://naralprochoicewashington.tumblr.com

I could, but I won’t, tell my entire personal story, here. Bare facts: I was “typical” in that I was in my middle-twenties, educated, and pro-child (I was teaching Kindergarten-First Grade at the time). I chose to terminate due to my having been financially and emotionally unready and unable to care for a child at the time I got pregnant, which occurred due to a birth control failure (diaphragm, which has a 4% failure rate).

Please, whatever your story or gender, VOTE in or keep in a pro-choice candidate this November. The right to choose to terminate a pregnancy is a HUMAN right and, unfortunately, sometimes a necessity. Even if the choices are often made in sorrow, they must be safe and legal to make.

Vote smart

image from http://www.kylelife.com

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but
We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

Of course that is true. Books about women’s experiences in choosing to have an abortion, having it, living with the decision, have these titles:

In Necessity and Sorrow, Peace after an Abortion, Healing after an Abortion, Dealing with the Emotional Aftermath of an Abortion, and similar.

Why in 2014, DECADES AFTER after the clarity of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, is women’s right-to-choose to terminate a pregnancy in the USA even in question?

Here is one main reason: MEN. More than a few very loud, conservative/reactionary, unfeeling, uncaring, ignorant and idiotic men. I call these men names with great care: they deserve every one of these appellations.

Men do not get pregnant

image from http://msmagazine.com

Last winter, Republican Allan Rothlisberg (Junction City, CA) who serves on a major House Committee (Commerce, Labor and Economic Development), stated: “If I was a woman over 50, I wouldn’t need gynecological services” (1/14/14). Bad grammar aside, the guy is a moron when it comes to women’s health care requirements.

Unfortunately, he is TYPICAL of the men in leadership positions spouting garbage. Offensive ridiculousness comes regularly out of those such as Todd Akin (R-Missouri), who invented the delightful term “legitimate rape” and claimed that there is no need for abortion to be legal in the case of rape because “women can just shut that down,” meaning, decide not to become fertilized, when we are raped.

I am not making this up.

Here is the other reason: RELIGION. Or, rather, the co-optation of Christian religious tenets and beliefs, tailoring and lying about the original teachings to “support” their platform. Nevermind that the same people who call themselves “pro-life” vote down tax increases or any funding for FEEDING, HOUSING, EDUCATING, and MAINTAINING HEALTH for actual, living children and adults, and that these same politicians and their supporters also want to exclude immigrants all together from ALL services. So much for being “pro-life” or even following their own Christian precepts.

Jesus policy preferences

image from http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com

As we approach another election, one in which the entire House of Representatives is up for grabs (and this part of Congress is the most culpable when it comes to misappropriation of politics and abusing their power in the name of religion), some facts seem important to know regarding abortion, a key issue (again). Please share. Please talk about this. I know I’m probably “preaching to the choir,” but we all have friends and relatives who could be better informed, and we ALL need to VOTE!

Who gets abortions in the USA?

What are the ages of women having abortions?

Anti-choice marketers would have us believe that most abortion-seekers are “irresponsible teenagers” who need “counseling” and “guidance,” implying that ignorance, carelessness, selfishness and a wanton disregard for life are influencing circumstances and driving abortion decisions.

However (big shock), they are incorrect. Only a small percentage (0.4%) of females who obtained abortions in this time period were under 15 years old. Interestingly, almost equal percentages (7 – 8%) were for women ages 15 – 17 and also for women 35-39. What types of circumstances and emotional characteristics could these demographic groups have in common, besides having an unwanted pregnancy?

ages of women abortion

82% of the women who had abortions in the 11-year period, 1999-2010, were between the ages of 18 – 34, with 34% as the largest single group, and it was for women ages 20 – 24.

Unsurprisingly, “older” women (NOT “ignorant” or in need of “guidance”) also get pregnant and decided to terminate the pregnancy: about 3% were over 40 years old.

What the reasons women choose abortion?

The conservative, anti-choice movement wants us to believe that the “primary” reasons for women’s choosing abortion are “selfish” and therefore not to be supported by law or community attitude. Their pie chart tries to illustrate that “most” women who have abortions do so because a pregnancy comes at the “wrong time” and /or they are “not ready” to have a child at that time. Even so, by their own research (which is questionable), only about one-quarter (27%) of the women gave that as their “primary” reason.

However, look at what the other survey options were and you can understand how so many chose the “not ready” category:

  • “Lack of maturity” Who is going to self-select that reason? Very few: 8%
  • “Relationship Issues” This is so broad as to be almost useless as a survey option. Only 9% selected this.
  • “Fetal Health Concerns” and “Maternal Health Concerns” each received about the same, 3% – 4%, matching “School or Career Concerns” with 4% as well. These combined total about 12%, or one-eighth of the respondents.
  • “Can’t afford the baby” (whose wording is already emotionally loaded, labeling the fetus a “baby” and then impugning the woman’s financial status at the same time) still garnered an almost equal percentage to those who said they weren’t “ready,” at 25%.
  • “Finished childbearing” is fraught with judgment as well, but nonetheless, 20% selected this as their primary reason for terminating the pregnancy.
  • “Rape” unsurprisingly received less than any, at 0.1%, while “Incest” isn’t on this chart (one could argue that all incest is rape, but to exclude it as a reason is significant, since conservatives keep voting down the right to choose, even in the case of rape or incest….).

AbortionReasons

image from http://www.conservapedia.com

The actual facts about USA women and abortion

About half of all women experience at least one unintended pregnancy in our lifetimes. This occurs mostly due to the fact that ALL birth control, even when used correctly and consistently, has a failure rate of at least 1% and most are worse.

Birth control failure rates

image from http://www.abovetopsecret.com

The “Pill,” which is usually thought of as “effective,” fails almost 9% of the time. That means almost 1 out of every 10 women who rely on the Pill for birth control will become pregnant while taking it. In addition to causing all kinds of problems for the women that they were not expecting (no pun intended), pregnant women do not know they are pregnant until many months into the pregnancy (usually when the baby moves), which means the mothers are taking these hormones throughout the crucial first trimester. Birth control pills can have adverse effects on developing fetuses which usually causes birth defects and/or problems for these people later in life because of hormonal imbalances while they were developing in utero. The risk of ectopic pregnancies is also higher in women taking oral contraceptives after conception (which shouldn’t have occurred, but does).

Even worse, women who conceive while using spermicidal forms of birth control are counseled to have abortions because babies born to women using spermicides have astronomical rates of birth defects, up to and including stillbirth. The lesser problems include dwarfism, muscles missing or non-functional (eyelids’ muscles do not work, for example, so the eyes can’t fully open, which, without surgery, leads to blindness in newborns), hip displasia, clubfoot, cleft palate, and worse (New England Journal of Medicine), most of which, if reparable, require one or more surgeries and expensive rehabilitation.

Spermicide problems

image from http://www.nejm.org

Despite these facts, only about one-third of women who unintentionally become pregnant choose to have an abortion. This could be due to the fact that, of those with unintended pregnancies, about 60% already have one child. As I mentioned at the start: NO woman WANTS to have an abortion, and those who have already carried a pregnancy to term, parented a child, are even less likely to terminate. Statistics bear this out: most mothers choose NOT to terminate.

Furthermore, to refute another of the conservatives’ most specious arguments: the majority (73%) of women who choose to terminate a pregnancy ARE “religiously affiliated,” which means we are not ALL “godless heathens” (although, as a Buddhist, I am proud to be “godless” and couldn’t care less about being called a “heathen”).

Abortion stats actual

image from http://naralprochoicewashington.tumblr.com

I could, but I won’t, tell my entire personal story, here. Bare facts: I was “typical” in that I was in my middle-twenties, educated, and pro-child (I was teaching Kindergarten-First Grade at the time). I chose to terminate due to my having been financially and emotionally unready and unable to care for a child at the time I got pregnant, which occurred due to a birth control failure (diaphragm, which has a 4% failure rate).

Please, whatever your story or gender, VOTE in or keep in a pro-choice candidate this November. The right to choose to terminate a pregnancy is a HUMAN right and, unfortunately, sometimes a necessity. Even if the choices are often made in sorrow, they must be safe and legal to make.

Vote smart

image from http://www.kylelife.com

NOW ON YOUTUBE! My Chat with Sally Ember, Ed. D. of *CHANGES*

*CHANGES* G+ HOA almost-weekly Wednesday 10 – 11 AM talk show with #authors is gaining quite an audience. Watch this week’s or any week’s Episodes on Youtube: http://www.sallyember.com/CHANGES for URLs and more info. New guests sought!

Legends of Windemere

First a big thank you to Sally Ember for having me on her show.  It was a lot of fun and I’m still on the adrenaline rush.  I recommend any author talk her about an appearance because it is a lot of fun.  So check out her blog and her books by clicking HERE!

A few more thank yous to those who asked questions and made comments:

Jack Flacco

He has recently released his second book of the Ranger Martin series, so check it out and help spread the word.

John Howell

Always a pleasure to interact with the author behind the exciting thriller, MY GRL.

Nicholas Rossis

Fellow fantasy author who has the Pearseus series bundled.  Thank you for throwing in a few laughs and supporting me.

Rayne Dowell

Glad you enjoy the show and I hope you discover Luke’s secret soon.

Again, I had a…

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No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

Thanks, Wendy, for collecting and posting. SHARING!

No Wasted Ink

writers-linksMarketing your books is one of the important aspects of being an author that is new to the field. No longer do we as writers depend on a publishing house to sell our books for us. We have to do the marketing ourselves. This week No Wasted Ink features several articles on this topic for your edification.

Take Charge of Your Author Business: 5 Aspects to Consider

Stop Using ‘Poet Voice’

Beth Bernobich: Writing Advice, the Meta Post

YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM IS NOT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING

14 Never-Fail Tricks Every Writer Needs to Know

4 COMPLETELY SCIENTIFIC WAYS TO KNOW IF YOUR CONTENT IS COMPELLING

Publishing is a Business…Why I Don’t Give my Book Away for Free

Which 5 Book Genres Make The Most Money?

10 RESOURCES FOR WRITERS AND BLOGGERS

7 Top eBook Blog Tour Sites

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2 More Days!

ONE MORE DAY, now! Yeah! http://www.sallyember.com/CHANGES for more info on this and future shows, and on how to become a guest yourself on this LIVE G+ HOA in which authors converse about sci-fi, fantasy, philosophy, politics, religion, spirituality, art, feminism, gender, sexual orientation, music, and whatever else we want!

Legends of Windemere

CHANGES Theme Image_3Join us on Wednesday, October 22nd, 10-11 AM EST!

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Lead Lipsticks, Folliculitis with MRSA from Hair Removal, and other Deadly “Beauty” Choices

Deadly Lipsticks

Hold on just a minute: what are you putting on your lips? What are you kissing on someone else’s? LEAD, if you use commercial lipsticks these days, and other poisons.

lipstick-lead

image from: http://rosearden.blogspot.com

Don’t believe me?

“[Researchers in 2013 and earlier found that] women who apply lipstick two to three times daily can ingest a significant amount—–20 percent of the daily amount that’s considered safe in drinking water or more—–of aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. Depending on the lipstick, in some cases women who slathered it on (14 times a day or more) were meeting or surpassing the daily recommended exposure to chromium, aluminum, and manganese.”

How many ways does the “beauty” industry despise, disrespect and want to murder women? It’s enough to make anyone sick.

Here are some lipstick facts.

Lead in Lipsticks inforgraphic

As of 2007, Burt’s Bees, owned by Clorox but which claims to be a down-home, “natural” product company, had lead in its chapsticks and did not respond to Mother Jones‘ inquiries as of 2013 asking what they had done to eliminate lead. This does NOT just affect adult women: children and men use Burt’s Bees’ lip balms.

Not to single out Burt’s Bees, but I’m hitting that company harder than others because of its atrocious pretense to “natural” ingredients. FRAUD.

Instead of getting the lead out, lipsticks tested in 2007, 2009 and 2013 got WORSE over those years, with products made by Maybelline, Cover Girl, L’Oreal, Revlon, Stargazer, and others, including Burt’s Bees, all selling popular colors/brands of lipstick containing lead.

“Lead, a metal that humans should avoid exposure to entirely, was detected in 75 percent of the samples.”

What if you are lucky enough to have a lipstick that does not have lead? Are you safe, then?

Oh, no, you’re not.

“…[L]ead isn’t the only toxin lurking in your lippy—–a new study finds cadmium, aluminum, and other heavy metals, too.”

The research showed that only a few companies, notably Wet n’ Wild, Bobbi Brown, and Shiseido, had zero lead in their lipsticks as of 2012. However, these companies’ products are not necessarily “healthy” for you, just not deadly.

To learn know more about the toxic and disease-inducing effects of these chemicals when they are ingested by humans (not to mention getting into our water system when wearers wash their faces and hands), please read the article.

(Original article is By Maggie Severns | published 5/6/13 in Mother Jones magazine. Read it!
Lead in your Lipsticks link:
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/05/study-lead-metals-lipstick-top-20)

You want to cover/decorate your lips, anyway?

Please use healthy, all-natural, proven and tested as well as beautiful products: lip glosses, tinted “shimmers” and balms from Badger. Badger Balm‘s products and the company itself are winning significant “green” and “B” Corporation awards annually. ALL Badger products are completely safe, mostly organic, and never tested on animals. They have hair oils, a line of products for men, skin products and much more than lip treatments.

Please check them out: http://www.badgerbalm.com

badger-logo

Now, what about that “extra” hair? If you insist on removing it, how to remove body hair safely?

Hair Removal is Causing Infections: Folliculitis with MRSA and others that can Kill

First, some definitions:
Folliculitis

Folliculitis is an inflammation and infection of hair follicles, the tiny openings in the skin from which hair grows. Folliculitisis due to an invasion of bacteria that enter the follicles and cause a bacterial infection. Folliculitisis most commonly the result of an infection of staphylococcal bacteria. This causes inflammation and a red rash that is bumpy and itchy. The rash can occur anywhere on the skin or scalp.”

How does one get Folliculitis? Let me count the ways…

Folliculitisis often caused by an infection that occurs after shaving, waxing, tweezing and other types of hair removal methods.” (The above info is from: http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/f/folliculitis/intro.htm)

The ONLY method that does NOT lead to Folliculitis is mentioned, below. I still do NOT recommend removing unwanted hair, though. Just my personal preference: cut it.

MRSA
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus = MRSA is basically a “staph” infection that is resistant to treatment/cure by most/conventional antibiotics, which means MRSA is much more dangerous and can be deadly. Some have called MRSA a “flesh-eating” bacteria, but that is a misnomer. MRSA can erode flesh, but not any more often or thoroughly than other untreated bacteria in the staph family.

MRSA ninjas

image from http://www.research.ibm.com

Let’s say you’re a “modern” female or male who wants to get rid of some (or all!?!) of your body hair who doesn’t want infections that maim or kill. Picky, picky. What to do?

First of all, WHY do you have to remove body hair? I haven’t used a razor since 1978 and I am quite happy with that choice. Misplaced vanity and age inspire me to cut my chin hairs, but trimming is very different from actual removal (and completely harmless).

Unless you suffer from a disorder that covers your face, arms, legs and other parts with hair and you are NOT okay with that, I just don’t understand why anyone “needs” to remove hair. Don’t send me comments explaining, though: I am not interested in your rationales. I just want you to do it more safely.

Let’s go on to safe(r) hair removal methods.

HOW are you going to engage in /have you already been doing removal of YOUR body hair? What will result from your chosen method(s)? Are you DIY or do you go to a “salon” or “spa” or other commercial establishment and have them do the removal?

BEWARE!

MRSA, HIV, Hepatitis B, STDs and other infectious/contagious diseases lurk in public spas/salons, worldwide!

“No matter how posh or pricey a salon or spa is, if it isn’t keeping up with health and safety standards, it can easily be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and germs. Be sure that all non-disposable instruments used are sterilised in an autoclave, a medical-grade device that uses superheated steam to sterilise. It’s the only way to be sure that infectious organisms have been destroyed.”

The article I am quoting, here, was published in India, but the safety recommendations and problems it researched apply everywhere. Not only women are affected, either.

“Men need to make sure that disposable razor blades are used to trim their hair (shaving) so as to avoid hepatitis B and HIV.” This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many men go to barber shops to get haircuts and never ask if the razors used to shave their NECKS (which is part of providing all “short” haircuts) have been sterilized or used prior to their shaves without having been replaced. This warning applies to electric as well as manual razors.

man-holding-a-blue-razor-in-hand

image from http://www.wisegeek.com

What is required to keep hair removal equipment safe? More than some shops do.

“Dipping the instruments in some solution is not going to kill bacteria and fungi. The place should use either a proper disinfectant or an autoclave for sterilising the instruments. Check the labels. Spa or salon disinfectant should be EPA-registered hospital-level liquid that is virucidal, bactericidal and fungicidal that is 10 per cent bleach; 70 per cent or higher isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.”

Think about ALL the re-usable instruments/tools that come into contact with your body in commercial establishments. I’ve had a pedicure and manicure occasionally in recent years, but I have never asked these questions or checked out these procedures.

I will NOW! This article is worth reading (link below).

Let’s talk about waxing safety measures, since waxing is currently THE most popular and commercialized hair removal method, especially for younger women and most men.

“Body hair removal techniques like waxing sometimes can cause redness, breakouts, severe infections, irritant reactions and ingrown hair. Always check if salon staff doing waxing are using a fresh wax jar and maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation. Confirm that there is no double-dipping (putting an earlier used tool back into the wax) and no double-using (reusing wax) policies to avoid product contamination.”

Re-using wax? Ewww. That is truly disgusting to contemplate. How do they remove all the hair from the wax? Yuck.

There are so many ways for hair removal methods to be done sloppily that I shudder to consider them all, especially due to the severity of the potential outcomes.

“…[If] hygiene and sanitary measures during waxing (especially bikini waxing) go haywire, then there is a risk of getting infected by viruses like herpes, molluscum contagiosum and genital warts, which, otherwise in adults, are sexually transmitted. These can be transferred from an infected client to a healthy customer specially while getting waxed in and around bikini and gluteal areas.”

Picture this: a woman (or man) goes in to get her hair removed. Waxing ensures. All seems to go well UNTIL a few weeks later, s/he develops herpes or warts in the groin area. These diseases are incurable, painful, contagious and recurring. For the rest of the victim’s LIFE and possibly any future partners’ lives.

Don’t even get me started on what imbalance or illness has developed in a modern girl’s or woman’s self-regard that makes her believe her vaginal area is supposed to be almost or completely hairless (making it resemble a pre-pubescent girl’s) or for males to believe that a hairless chest or back (again, relegating “attractiveness” in adult males to pre-pubescence) is all their partners will accept. These cultural constructs make me both sad and furious.

I like hairy, adult, male chests? Am I the only one left who remembers Sean Connery as James Bond, hairy chest exposed, with great affection and attraction? Ahhh.

Sean Connery

Are the so-called benefits of waxing worth the risks?

I say not.

Read on. Please regard and share these extra and specific cautions, below.

Other wax warnings:

  • Do not wax over an area that has had a botox injection for at least 72 hours.
  • Do not wax if you have protruding varicose veins, diabetes, skin eczema or infection.
  • Do not wax if you are using any anti-ageing or acne creams that may contain a retinoid, as skin will be extra susceptible to getting burned and peeled off.

Read full article here:
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140727/spectrum/fitness2.htm

Deciding you may want to keep your “unwanted” hair rather than acquire even more seriously unwanted problems? Good choice!

Or, if you INSIST or removing hair, try lasers! These are expensive if you buy one for your home or get treatments at dermatologists’ offices, BUT laser removal methods are considered safer than other methods because laser removal “damages the hair follicle at its root without damaging the surrounding skin tissue.”

I usually ignore or deride Fox “NEWS,” but this article quoted above and below seems well-researched and the info corresponds to many others I read. (Credit goes to Julie Revelant (who is a freelancer and does NOT work for Fox NEWS), published 8/29/14: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/29/4-hair-removal-methods-that-really-work/ ) for the following list (and she gives more info) about SAFE HAIR REMOVAL methods, to date.

  • 1. Diode laser hair removal (GETS MY VOTE)
  • 2. Sugaring (THIS IS STILL WAXING, though)
  • 3. Threading (STILL too much like TWEEZING)
  • 4. Electrolysis (STILL too much like TWEEZING)

If you want to know more about these methods, please go read her article. (Julie Revelant is a freelance writer and copywriter specializing in parenting, health, healthcare, nutrition, food and women’s issues. She’s also a mom of two. Learn more about Julie at http://revelantwriting.com)

I’m sticking with my Badger Balm lip balms and lip shimmers and my hair-cutting scissors for my errant chin hairs.

hair scissors

Meanwhile, I plan to visualize that everyone gains more positive self-esteem, higher self-acceptance and an expanded view of “beauty.”

Also, I wish you all the best, whatever you choose.

300 + Mind Expanding Documentaries

Fantastic documentaries list, with links, categorized into about 30 somewhat not-overlapping groups! Thanks for curating this list!

Reiki Dublin, for the mind, body & soul...

mind expanding documentaries

I came across this list of documentaries. I just found it fascinating and I could not resist to share it with all of you!

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Writing Makes you Healthy

“…the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. Just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.” http://nicholasrossis.me/2014/10/19/writing-makes-you-healthy/

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Writing makes you healthy. Grammar, not so much.

We authors may be creative cheats, but is there any good news about our profession? Actually, yes! According to research cited by Arts.Mic, the benefits of writing go far beyond building up your vocabulary.

In fact, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. Just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.

By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, enjoyed lower blood pressure and had better liver functionality than their counterparts.

Even physical wounds heal faster. In 2013, New Zealand researchers conducted an experiment on…

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Meet and Chat with Charles E. Yallowitz on October 22nd!

Come one, come all! Interrogate…. I mean converse with us LIVE or listen later!

Legends of Windemere

CHANGES Theme Image_3Get over Hump Day with me as I have my first LIVE interview courtesy of Sally Ember!

The event goes from 10-11 EST and you can click on the banner to go to the site!

For fun, here are some tips I’ve received:

  1. Don’t pick your nose.
  2. Don’t pass out.
  3. Remember to wear a shirt.
  4. Remember your name.
  5. Check what will be behind you on the video.
  6. Disconnect the phones and mute cellphone.
  7. Pray that the son does not get sick.
  8. Put up ‘Doorbell Broken’ sign.
  9. Go to bathroom before interview.
  10. Get a haircut, ya hippie!
  11. Shave and wash your face.
  12. Lose some weight . . . not sure how I’m supposed to accomplish this.
  13. Get a tan . . . I know I’m kind of pale, but I’m not going Oompa Loompa here.
  14. Try not to stutter or make the audience think your webcam froze.
  15. Pay your Internet bill.

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Excellent weekend reading: The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower

Join host, Sally Ember, Ed.D., LIVE, conversing with Charles on Wednesday, October 22, 9 – 10 AM Central Time USA ,
https://plus.google.com/events/cq1ajreuhaqds7s83onqhse6jq8 or catch our conversation any time on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkD67YcWJvY

Gwen Bristol

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

I first read The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower back in 2013. Here’s the Amazon review I wrote for it:

Months after reading this book, my mind is still drawn to it. The fight scenes are descriptive without being overdone, the characters are realistic and dynamic, and there are surprise punches I just didn’t see coming. It’s a great adventure story. There’s a lot going on in this book, but Charles Yallowitz somehow made it all flow together seamlessly. I’ll continue to recommend this series to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy.

That holds as true now as it did when I first read the book. Nyx is a complex, exciting character who I feel really compliments Luke Callindor’s character. The fight scenes are realistic and the action is both fast-paced and smooth. It kept me reading and reading.

It’s been a busy week, so I haven’t finished reading through The Prodigy…

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W.I.P.- Heir of Chaos

listen more to Charles this week on *CHANGES*: Join host, Sally Ember, Ed.D., LIVE, conversing with Charles on Wednesday, October 22, 9 – 10 AM Central Time USA ,
https://plus.google.com/events/cq1ajreuhaqds7s83onqhse6jq8 or catch our conversation any time on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkD67YcWJvY

Legends of Windemere

Yola Biggs by Kayla Matt Yola Biggs by Kayla Matt

Before anyone screams about sequel, I’m going to put a disclaimer.  This is a possible story and it can happen no matter what happens in Legends of Windemere.  The reason for this is because it revolves around Yola Biggs the Goddess of Chaos.  She can be a factor whether she lives, dies, goes good, goes evil, ends the series with an anti-gravity tea party, or ends up wandering to Earth where she rules the marmosets with an iron fist.  Seriously, this is a ‘villain’ whose combat repertoire may including taking off her own head and wielding it by the hair like a flail.  Basically, she’s nuts, a goddess, gets a lot of growth in Book 8, and has a story that can be told if I feel like it.  Still, I’m going to put the ‘more below’ thing here just to be safe. 

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Mumsnet and Janklow & Nesbit Debut Novel Competition

Self- and un-published #authors: Submit the first 8,000 words of your #novel to competition@janklow.co.uk, along with a 500-word outline of the remaining chapters, by January 30, 2015.
http://thursdayfiction.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/mumsnet-and-janklow-nesbit-debut-novel-competition/

For full details see: http://www.mumsnet.com/books/janklow-nesbit-writing-competition

http://www.mumsnet.com/books/janklow-nesbit-terms-and-conditions

Thursday Fiction

Submit the first 8,000 words of your novel to competition@janklow.co.uk, along with a 500-word outline of the remaining chapters, by 30 January 2015.

“The prize is the offer of representation by Janklow & Nesbit , during which you’ll be mentored and supported by one of their agents. They’ll help you get your novel into the best possible shape, and use their exhaustive knowledge of the publishing world to make sure it’s seen by the right people.”

Janklow & Nesbit guarantee that every entry will be read by one of their agents.

For full details see: http://www.mumsnet.com/books/janklow-nesbit-writing-competition

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My First Year as an Indie Author Giveaway

Get some great MG/YA/adult #sci-fi and #fantasy and whatever else Nicholas C. Rossis has cooked up for FREE today and support an excellent #indie #author!

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Party cat found on wall4all.me

Today is my authorversary Indieversaryone-year anniversary since the publication of Pearseus: Schism, the first book of my epic fantasy series!

Twelve exciting months and four books later, I’d like to celebrate by sharing with you my work. So, anyone who leaves a comment below until the end of the month, will receive a free copy of one of my books – your choice!

So, what are you waiting for? Tell me which book you’d like to receive, and enjoy some of the greatest stories of all times (hmm… too much?) 😀

Also, don’t forget that you can download Pearseus: Schism for free on Goodreads.

And the most important part: Thank you for all your love and support! I know I keep saying this, but that’s only because it bears repeating: I couldn’t have done it without you! I love…

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#Love According to #Psychology and #Biology

I was going to write an entire post on the biology and psychology of love, but I realized many have already done so and several have collected/written great books on the subjects. There are even videos. So, instead of adding my less-than-expert two cents’ worth, I compiled what I believe to be the best of these and guide you to them, here.

If you, as I do, feel mystified, bamboozled, defeated and enraptured in our lives by love, you WILL find answers, explanations, reasons and perhaps excuses in these researchers’ contributions to the subject. You can find ideas that help you choose better (or refrain from choosing) when deciding how to proceed in your relationship life.

You will not, however, get that person to love you, find a way to get over a broken heart any faster, or make yourself more lovable by reading these books. In fact, if you do read/review all of this material, you’ll probably be a royal pain in most people’s behinds as you quote from them. But, so what? Would you rather be informed or falsely loved?

Okay, okay: that’s a false choice. So, read away, but don’t spout too much from your research.

falling in love sign

image from http://twistales.com

Here is the selection, numbered but not in any priority order:

1. Molecules of Emotion:The Scientific Basis Behind Mind-Body Medicine, the late Candace Pert, Ph.D., pharmacologist and biologist

2. A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis, Ph.D., Fari Amini, Ph.D. and Richard Lannon, Ph.D., psychologists

3. Falling in Love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose, social psychologist and researcher, Ayala Malach Pines

4. Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher

5. Biology of the Mind: Helen Fisher, Ph.D., biologist, video from TEDxEast

http://youtu.be/fW6AndSUByo

6. Why We Love: 5 Books on the Psychology of Love by Maria Popova, including some of the above with more info about them, on:
http://www.brainpickings.org/2011/04/18/5-must-read-books-on-love/

7. The Science of Love, from Your Amazing Brain‘s site
http://www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm

In case you thought falling in love was so special, check this out, from the above article: “York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying why people fall in love. He asked his subjects to carry out the[se] 3 steps and found that many of his couples felt deeply attracted after the 34-minute experiment [below]. Two of his subjects later got married.”

how to fall in love:

  • Find a complete stranger.
  • Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
  • Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.

And, this:

Dr Donatella Marazziti, a psychiatrist at the University of Pisa advertised for twenty couples who’d been madly in love for less than six months. She wanted to see if the brain mechanisms that cause you to constantly think about your lover, were related to the brain mechanisms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

By analysing blood samples from the lovers, Dr Marazitti discovered that serotonin levels of new lovers were equivalent to the low serotonin levels of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder [OCD] patients.

8. What Is Romantic Love? on The Anatomy of Love site:
http://theanatomyoflove.com/what-is-love/what-is-love/

Providing this list of usual “symptoms” of “falling in love” makes one wonder why ANYONE would want to do so and why, once we do, we aren’t immediately taking psychotropic medications to help us get over it!

Behavioral traits of early stage romantic love:

  • Special meaning: the romantic partner is the center of the world, and you like anything they like
  • Intense energy and it’s hard to sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Separation anxiety
  • Craving
  • Intense motivation for emotional union
  • Possessive[ness]
  • Intrusive thinking

Sure; fall in love. Just don’t get too attached….

#Nobel Prize Winners 2014: Why we should pay attention and be grateful

#Nobel Prize Winners 2014: Why we should pay attention and be grateful
Thanks to these scientists, researchers, activists and one writer, we can now enjoy advances and new inventions very soon in a variety of areas. This year, two women (one quite young) and several men (big surprise, there) were honored by these esteemed prizes. Check out their accomplishments!

  • Literature, Patrick Modiano: “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”
    Wikipedia tells us: “Patrick Modiano …previously won the 2012 Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the 2010 Prix mondial Cino Del Duca from the Institut de France for lifetime achievement, the 1978 Prix Goncourt for Rue des boutiques obscures, and the 1972 Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française for Les Boulevards de ceinture. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have been celebrated in and around France, though only a few have been in circulation in English by the time he was awarded the Nobel Prize.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Modiano

    Anybody read any of his books? Not I (yet).

    -

  • Physiology or Medicine, Edvard Moser, May Britt Moser, John O’Keefe: “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.” Their combined research reveals the ways the brain understands its location even when underwater, upside down, without gravity and without visual cues.

    Edvard Moser, May Britt Moser, John O'Keefe

    for ground-breaking research on “The Brain’s GPS: how the brain knows where it is.”

  • Physics, Shuji Nakamura, Hiroshi Amano, Isamu Akasaki: “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.” We will soon have inexpensive, “green” light sources widely available, thanks to these scientists/inventors.

    Light source

    for inventing/discovering “a new, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly light source” image from http://www.theguardian.com/science/live/2014/oct/07/nobel-prize-physics-2014-stockholm-live

  • Peace, Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan) and Kailash Satyarthi (India): “for their struggles against the suppression of children and for young people’s rights, including the right to education”

    Malala Yousafzai

    Malala Yousafzai is the young woman who was almost fatally shot while trying to get to school in Pakistan. During and after her recovery, she has become a vocal and well-respected advocate for girls’ rights to be educated in countries that oppress women and girls. She is also the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Kailash Satyarthi

    Kailash Satyarthi is a globally recognized hero for rescuing children from forced labor, sexual exploitation and slavery and working to prevent these from occurring image from http://www.myhero.ws

  • Chemistry, W.E. Moerner, Stefan Hell, Eric Betzig: “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy” which “brings optical microscopy into the nanodimension.” We can now SEE the extremely tiny stuff even better than ever. Wow!

    super-resolved fluorescence microscopy

    “A network of filaments in a mammalian cell revealed by fluorescence microscopy. Photograph: Stefan W Hell/Division of Optical Nanoscopy/German Cancer Research Center” image from http://www.theguardian.com

Get more info here:
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lists/year/?year=2014

In case you missed it: Day 1 of TEDGlobal 2014

Try to watch! I am, also!

TED Blog

Dave Troy speaking at the TED University session of TEDGlobal 2014. Dave Troy speaking at the TED University session of TEDGlobal 2014. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED

Today was the first day of TEDGlobal 2014. If you weren’t able to clear your schedule to watch TED Live today and experience the magic in real-time, we’re here to help. Here are some highlights from the day:

What maps can tell you about hip-hop fans

At TED University, a session of talks by conference attendees, Dave Troy maps the social media use in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, to reveal some surprising micro-communities within the city. He shows how hobbies can overlap across demographics — geeks and hip-hop fans, who are largely separate on his map, overlap to talk about the Baltimore Orioles. As he says: “Segregation is a social construct. It’s something we choose to do, and we can choose not to do it.” [See the recap.]

Nerding out on a boiling river

As a child…

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Not on the Rag but Still Feeling It

An EXCELLENT cause and one worth giving to, for sure. Don’t forget to include a variety of types of products and also, many sizes of adult-sized diapers for those with incontinence/heavier flows. Been there; done that; burned THAT T-shirt!

Red's Wrap

Is there possibly a more inelegant phrase than ‘she’s on the rag?’

Maybe. I’ll search for it later.

My mother told me that when she was a teenager growing up in a small town during the Depression, she and her sister actually used rags that were washed and bleached and hung out on the clothesline to dry, each rag hand-fed through a wringer washer. Nothing came easy then.  If you were going to be on the rag, you better learn to wash them. Harsh business.

Being on the rag is not a situation for me anymore. One of the many benefits of getting older is being able to wear white pants anytime, not having to rummage through the drawer for a Tampax like I was looking for the last remaining cigarette on earth, the one that would save me from nicotine withdrawal and wanting to kill all my children…

View original post 527 more words

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES: CLEAN INDIE READS (#CIR) Fall #Book #Sale Blog Tour

cir-fall-sale-graphic
http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES
Clean Indie Reads, the home of Flinch-Free Fiction, is having a #Fall #Book #Sale 

October 5 thru October 11!

Check out all the sale books HERE! http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

Or, if you would like to go directly to Amazon and peruse the sale books by genre, check out these on Listmania: http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/byauthor/A1DSK2JI3W8GDJ/ref=cm_aya_bb_lists

To celebrate, we are having a #blog #hop where you can learn more about some of our authors and their books. Our bloggers will also be answering the question: “Do the changing seasons influence your writing and/or choice of books to read?”

Please join the discussion on this site by commenting, below, and please visit all the participating blog sites: you might win a prize or two! Happy Hopping!

My post:

The Sirian Experiments‘ Take on Changing Seasons

The best science-fiction series I have ever read that utilizes the idea of changing seasons is Doris Lessing’s The Sirian Experiments, which won the Man Booker Prize in 1981. It is Volume III of her Canopus in Argos: Archives Series, a masterwork of new ideas in philosophy, gender identity, sexuality, social relationships, ecology, geology, psychology and so much more. I highly recommend you start at the beginning and read the entire series. Then, start over. Really.

The main premise of The Sirian Experiments which relates to today’s thematic question is this: Humans and Earth itself are an experiment conducted by those from the planet Siria. Part of that experiment was to tilt Earth on its axis, creating seasons in most parts of the planet, and then to track the effects of this tilt on humans.

The main way that humans responded to this tilt was that we developed varying emotions. According to the Sirian experimenters, humans’ becoming emotionally labile, meaning quite reactive, sometimes inexplicably positive or negative, was a direct result of the planet’s switch from having temperate, monochromatic climates to having changing/seasonal climates.

Fascinating, right? After many centuries of observation, the Sirian experimenters further theorized that the more extreme the climate seasons changes were, the more radical the changes in the emotions of the humans living in those latitudes became. Those that lived closer to Earth’s equator and therefore experienced fewer and smaller annual seasonal changes were the least emotional, for example.

With the more recent understandings of the ways reduced sunlight affects many people, bringing to our attention extreme reactions, such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and high rates of suicide in latitudes of Earth that have fewer annual days/hours of sunlight, we now have support for Lessing’s “far-fetched” propositions.

Interestingly, SAD wasn’t “discovered” until after Lessing’s books had been published (SAD was formally described and named in 1984). Hmmmm…..

I recently moved from a more monochromatic climate (the San Francisco Bay Area) back to a more temperate/seasonal climate (Missouri). I wonder if I will become more “emotional”? I grew up here and I lived in temperate climates for most of my life, only inhabiting the more monochromatic climates for the last 15 years or so. However, that time also coincided with intensification in my Buddhist meditation practice, higher attendance at more and longer meditation retreats, many periods (years, not months) of unemployment, and fewer intimate relationships, so the experimental “controls” fail for THIS experiment.

All that being known, I am interested to find out how returning to a place that has actual seasons affects me. I’ll let you know!

First: have to buy some new winter boots. Mine rotted and molded from lack of use. LOL.

Second: get some more good books!

If you, as I do, like to curl up with a good book as we sit by a warming fire or other heating source as the weather gets rainier, colder, snowier or frosty, please consider getting the volumes in Lessing’s Sci-Fi series.

Then, for even more fun, download the first volume of my own sci-fi/ romance/ multiverse/ utopian Spanners Series, This Changes Everything (which is free) and then, Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, as well. Also, please try some of the others’ books in this CIR Blog Hop!

Here are my books. All links can be found on my website: http://www.sallyember.com Look right and scroll.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

Now PERMA-FREE everywhere ebooks are sold.

final cover print

Now $3.99 wherever ebooks are sold.

logoAuthorsDen

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, due out early in 2015. Volumes IV – X in process.
All Spanners‘ cover and logo art by Aidana Willowraven.

As always, REVIEWS ARE APPRECIATED!

Blog Hop Schedule
(please note: not all bloggers will be offering giveaways):

Check out all the sale books here.

Disclaimer: Comment by 11:59:59 PM Central time on October 10, 2014 for your chance to win. Please leave your email address with your comment. Winners will be contacted by the blog owner by October 13, 2014. Only one entry per ISP address. The contest is open to international readers unless stated by the blog owner. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. The giveaway is the sole responsibility of the blogger. Clean Indie Reads is in no way responsible for providing prizes during this blog hop. Void where prohibited

 
Please visit the other sites in this Blog Tour! Schedule/URLs above and here: http://lindacovella.com/events-news/clean-indie-reads-fall-sale/

Many thanks to Linda Covello for organizing this and to all who participate as bloggers, all of you who visit, and especially all of your readers who comment, buy, download, read, and review our CIR books!

Enjoy your Clean Indie Reads!

Share /reblog this post!

Proud member of Clean Indie Reads!

CIR_Logo
 

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES: CLEAN INDIE READS (#CIR) Fall #Book #Sale Blog Tour

cir-fall-sale-graphic
http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES
Clean Indie Reads, the home of Flinch-Free Fiction, is having a #Fall #Book #Sale 

October 5 thru October 11!

Check out all the sale books HERE! http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

Or, if you would like to go directly to Amazon and peruse the sale books by genre, check out these on Listmania: http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/byauthor/A1DSK2JI3W8GDJ/ref=cm_aya_bb_lists

To celebrate, we are having a #blog #hop where you can learn more about some of our authors and their books. Our bloggers will also be answering the question: “Do the changing seasons influence your writing and/or choice of books to read?”

Please join the discussion on this site by commenting, below, and please visit all the participating blog sites: you might win a prize or two! Happy Hopping!

My post:

The Sirian Experiments‘ Take on Changing Seasons

The best science-fiction series I have ever read that utilizes the idea of changing seasons is Doris Lessing’s The Sirian Experiments, which won the Man Booker Prize in 1981. It is Volume III of her Canopus in Argos: Archives Series, a masterwork of new ideas in philosophy, gender identity, sexuality, social relationships, ecology, geology, psychology and so much more. I highly recommend you start at the beginning and read the entire series. Then, start over. Really.

The main premise of The Sirian Experiments which relates to today’s thematic question is this: Humans and Earth itself are an experiment conducted by those from the planet Siria. Part of that experiment was to tilt Earth on its axis, creating seasons in most parts of the planet, and then to track the effects of this tilt on humans.

The main way that humans responded to this tilt was that we developed varying emotions. According to the Sirian experimenters, humans’ becoming emotionally labile, meaning quite reactive, sometimes inexplicably positive or negative, was a direct result of the planet’s switch from having temperate, monochromatic climates to having changing/seasonal climates.

Fascinating, right? After many centuries of observation, the Sirian experimenters further theorized that the more extreme the climate seasons changes were, the more radical the changes in the emotions of the humans living in those latitudes became. Those that lived closer to Earth’s equator and therefore experienced fewer and smaller annual seasonal changes were the least emotional, for example.

With the more recent understandings of the ways reduced sunlight affects many people, bringing to our attention extreme reactions, such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and high rates of suicide in latitudes of Earth that have fewer annual days/hours of sunlight, we now have support for Lessing’s “far-fetched” propositions.

Interestingly, SAD wasn’t “discovered” until after Lessing’s books had been published (SAD was formally described and named in 1984). Hmmmm…..

I recently moved from a more monochromatic climate (the San Francisco Bay Area) back to a more temperate/seasonal climate (Missouri). I wonder if I will become more “emotional”? I grew up here and I lived in temperate climates for most of my life, only inhabiting the more monochromatic climates for the last 15 years or so. However, that time also coincided with intensification in my Buddhist meditation practice, higher attendance at more and longer meditation retreats, many periods (years, not months) of unemployment, and fewer intimate relationships, so the experimental “controls” fail for THIS experiment.

All that being known, I am interested to find out how returning to a place that has actual seasons affects me. I’ll let you know!

First: have to buy some new winter boots. Mine rotted and molded from lack of use. LOL.

Second: get some more good books!

If you, as I do, like to curl up with a good book as we sit by a warming fire or other heating source as the weather gets rainier, colder, snowier or frosty, please consider getting the volumes in Lessing’s Sci-Fi series.

Then, for even more fun, download the first volume of my own sci-fi/ romance/ multiverse/ utopian Spanners Series, This Changes Everything (which is free) and then, Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, as well. Also, please try some of the others’ books in this CIR Blog Hop!

Here are my books. All links can be found on my website: http://www.sallyember.com Look right and scroll.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

Now PERMA-FREE everywhere ebooks are sold.

final cover print

Now $3.99 wherever ebooks are sold.

logoAuthorsDen

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, due out early in 2015. Volumes IV – X in process.
All Spanners‘ cover and logo art by Aidana Willowraven.

As always, REVIEWS ARE APPRECIATED!

Blog Hop Schedule
(please note: not all bloggers will be offering giveaways):

Check out all the sale books here.

Disclaimer: Comment by 11:59:59 PM Central time on October 10, 2014 for your chance to win. Please leave your email address with your comment. Winners will be contacted by the blog owner by October 13, 2014. Only one entry per ISP address. The contest is open to international readers unless stated by the blog owner. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. The giveaway is the sole responsibility of the blogger. Clean Indie Reads is in no way responsible for providing prizes during this blog hop. Void where prohibited

 
Please visit the other sites in this Blog Tour! Schedule/URLs above and here: http://lindacovella.com/events-news/clean-indie-reads-fall-sale/

Many thanks to Linda Covello for organizing this and to all who participate as bloggers, all of you who visit, and especially all of your readers who comment, buy, download, read, and review our CIR books!

Enjoy your Clean Indie Reads!

Share /reblog this post!

Proud member of Clean Indie Reads!

CIR_Logo
 

Format Your Book for CreateSpace

For aspiring POD indie authors, some great info, here, about formatting for print.

Roxanne's Space

How to Format Your Book for CreateSpace

Persnickety

I get a lot of formatting questions, so I thought I’d put it all down in one place. If you find it useful, let me know.

Note: I use Word 2010. Your version of Word might look a bit different, but it should be similar enough for you to figure out.

And now, without further ado, here is how I format a book for CreateSpace.

Ready, Set, Go

  1. Open your Word .doc
  2. Set the margins. Go to PAGE LAYOUT –> MARGINS –> CUSTOM MARGINS.
    1. Under the Margin Tab, make the top 1″, the bottom 1″, the inside .9″, and the outside .6″.
    2. Orientation should be Portrait.
    3. Multiple Pages should be changed to Mirror Margins. That’s it for the Margin Tab. Don’t close the box yet.
  3. Then under the Paper Tab, change the Paper Size to the size of the book you are planning to publish…

View original post 1,088 more words

Consciousness Bookshelf

Some good and new recommendations, here. I added to the list in the COMMENTS section, also.

Jessica Davidson

A selection of recommended books about Consciousness for anyone on the path to awakening and self-knowledge. These are some of the books I’ve found particularly helpful or interesting over the years. There are longer reviews attached via links, and more to come…

Dr Eben Alexander – Proof of Heaven

Proof of Heaven

This is an astonishing account of a neurosurgeon’s Near Death Experience after suffering bacterial meningitis and falling into a coma. What he saw led him to question everything he believed in. This case of NDE is particularly interesting because Dr Alexander is uniquely qualified to explain exactly how and why his experience couldn’t be a mere hallucination as his neocortex wasn’t functioning. The book recounts in detail what happened during the week he was in a coma, pieced together from his medical records and testimony by his family and the doctors who helped him to recover.

View original post 1,180 more words

“Quick Book Reviews” Gives “Thumbs Up” to This Changes Everything, Vol I, The Spanners Series!

This Changes Everything, Vol I, The Spanners Series, gets a great review from Quick Book Reviews back in January but I just found out this week!

Here are two quotes from the review:

“I found the story itself to be one of the most immersive and original ones I have read recently. Amongst the sea of science fiction novel clones, there is This Changes Everything, a book in which old ideas are taken in completely new directions (such as the whole intergalactic committee actually trying to help the humans), and new ideas are spawned by the dozens.”

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

This Changes Everything is certainly much more than what I expected from it, presenting us an enthralling and original storyline set in a majestic and extremely-detailed world, populated by many characters that will stay with you once the last pages are closed. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to science-fiction fans, especially the ones who prefer their literature to explore ideas and concepts through words rather than actions.”

This Changes Everything is now PERMAFREE everywhere ebooks are sold and Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is $3.99.

final cover print

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, is due out early in 2015.

Read the full review here:
http://quick-book-review.blogspot.com/2014/01/this-changes-everything-volume-one-by-sally-ember.html

“Quick Book Reviews” Gives “Thumbs Up” to This Changes Everything, Vol I, The Spanners Series!

This Changes Everything, Vol I, The Spanners Series, gets a great review from Quick Book Reviews back in January but I just found out this week!

Here are two quotes from the review:

“I found the story itself to be one of the most immersive and original ones I have read recently. Amongst the sea of science fiction novel clones, there is This Changes Everything, a book in which old ideas are taken in completely new directions (such as the whole intergalactic committee actually trying to help the humans), and new ideas are spawned by the dozens.”

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

This Changes Everything is certainly much more than what I expected from it, presenting us an enthralling and original storyline set in a majestic and extremely-detailed world, populated by many characters that will stay with you once the last pages are closed. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to science-fiction fans, especially the ones who prefer their literature to explore ideas and concepts through words rather than actions.”

This Changes Everything is now PERMAFREE everywhere ebooks are sold and Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is $3.99.

final cover print

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, is due out early in 2015.

Read the full review here:
http://quick-book-review.blogspot.com/2014/01/this-changes-everything-volume-one-by-sally-ember.html

NATIONAL POETRY DAY 2nd OCTOBER 2014

Pick a poem and share it! National Poetry Day is TODAY!

THE HAY WRITERS

national poetry day

This year’s National Poetry Day will take place on Thursday 2 October… TODAY!

The theme for 2014 is ‘remember‘.

Recollect those little things ­
Each cup with two sugars in,
Mother’s bright red hat and scarf,
Evergreen trees, bumble bees,
Mirror­-pictures in the bath.
Bring them to life, they will talk
Even if you think them poor ­
Riches grow from every thought.

By ECvW ©2014

Why don’ you have a go and write your ‘remember’ poem? 🙂

And enjoy this wonderful poetical day!!!

View original post

The Power of Six hits #1 on Amazon

Look what happened to my most recent guest, Nicholas C. Rossis’, book of short stories, featured on CHANGES G+ HOA the very next day after his appearance!! Seeking new guests! http://www.sallyember.com/CHANGES for more info! Congrats to Nicholas!

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksI woke up this morning to a lovely surprise: The Power of Six had reached #1 on Amazon – without any ads or promotion!

So, I wanted to thank you all for your help with that. I know a lot of you have been kind enough to buy the book after finding out about it here, and I wish I could hug each and every one of you to thank you.

I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Oh, and a teaser: October 17 sees the one-year anniversary since Pearseus was first published. I have something very special planned for that date, with lots of giveaways, so mark the date on your calendar!

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

For a few more days, The Power of Six will be on sale. Read seven short sci-fi stories for only 99c!

View original post

10 Obsolete Beliefs that Can Block Self-Publishing Success by Anne R. Allen

10 Obsolete Beliefs that Can Block Self-Publishing Success
by Anne R. Allen

This is an excellent post with pertinent, supportive, specific information for indie writers. Please read the whole article on her blog (link is below).

My favorites of Anne’s 10 points:

#1: Do we really need paper books to be “successful”?
Apparently not: “EVERY SUCCESSFUL INDIE AUTHOR YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS HAS MADE THE BULK OF THEIR INCOME SELLING E-BOOKS.”

ebook sales to 2013

image from: http://blog.nathanbransford.com

#4: Does book “swag” sell books?
Apparently not: “Toys don’t sell books. Word of mouth from readers sells books. Especially word of mouth online, where people can simply click through to a buy page.”

book swag

image from: http://lizcoley.com

and, best of all, #10 (and previous ones relate to this as well):

“So what’s the best way to launch a book in this new publishing world? Nobody really knows. Sometimes books take off and the author doesn’t have a clue why…”

Imagine this next image with a big red line diagonally running through it!

EbookLaunch_guarantee_Badge2

image from: http://ebooklaunch.com

What do I keep reading/hearing, repeatedly, sells more ebooks? QUALITY and QUANTITY, both. Write well and publish a lot!

never quit

Please go to Anne’s site, read and comment/thank her for the rest. Great post, Anne. Thanks!

posted 8/24/14 and STILL HELPFUL every day!
http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2014/08/10-obsolete-beliefs-that-can-block-self.html

10 Obsolete Beliefs that Can Block Self-Publishing Success by Anne R. Allen

10 Obsolete Beliefs that Can Block Self-Publishing Success
by Anne R. Allen

This is an excellent post with pertinent, supportive, specific information for indie writers. Please read the whole article on her blog (link is below).

My favorites of Anne’s 10 points:

#1: Do we really need paper books to be “successful”?
Apparently not: “EVERY SUCCESSFUL INDIE AUTHOR YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS HAS MADE THE BULK OF THEIR INCOME SELLING E-BOOKS.”

ebook sales to 2013

image from: http://blog.nathanbransford.com

#4: Does book “swag” sell books?
Apparently not: “Toys don’t sell books. Word of mouth from readers sells books. Especially word of mouth online, where people can simply click through to a buy page.”

book swag

image from: http://lizcoley.com

and, best of all, #10 (and previous ones relate to this as well):

“So what’s the best way to launch a book in this new publishing world? Nobody really knows. Sometimes books take off and the author doesn’t have a clue why…”

Imagine this next image with a big red line diagonally running through it!

EbookLaunch_guarantee_Badge2

image from: http://ebooklaunch.com

What do I keep reading/hearing, repeatedly, sells more ebooks? QUALITY and QUANTITY, both. Write well and publish a lot!

never quit

Please go to Anne’s site, read and comment/thank her for the rest. Great post, Anne. Thanks!

posted 8/24/14 and STILL HELPFUL every day!
http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2014/08/10-obsolete-beliefs-that-can-block-self.html

My Fall #NewTVShows Reviews: 2014 is a VERY Mixed Season, thru 10/1/14

Yes: I watch TV. Not reality shows, not zombie shows, not most half-hour sit coms and not late-night or daytime shows. But, prime time shows sometimes get my attention.

I have a few I keep watching (until they end or are cancelled; you can find most of those on my Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/sallyember), but this post is about new shows.

Then, there are this Fall’s new shows. For a somewhat unbiased summary of each new show, check TV Guide: http://www.tvguide.com/special/fall-preview/new-shows.aspx

Since my mom and I are sampling some of the new shows, I kindly provide my /our recommendations and opinions, below.

#unexpectedlygreatTV: Red Band Society premiered this week and blew me away. My mom didn’t want to watch it since it features adolescents and she isn’t so interested (well, she is over 80…). But I have a soft spot for teens and decided to give it a try. It has Octavia Spencer and Dave Annabelle, it is produced by Steven Spielberg: how bad could it be?

#RedBandSociety is astonishingly excellent: script, acting, story, values, humor, poignancy, pathos, hope. It’s got it all. The promos (branding it as “‘The Breakfast Club’ in a hospital” does NOT do it justice) are not sufficient.

redbandsociety

Give it a watch. I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprise. Bring tissues. BTW: I am not paid or compensated in any way for this review. I HATE Fox news, but Fox TV is often great.

Episode 2 was also good, but not as good as Episode 1, BTW. http://www.fox.com/red-band-society/

#asgoodasexpectedTV: Madam Secretary was excellent. If you like great acting, scripting, suspense and twists in your political dramas, watch #MadamSecretary!

Kudos to Tea Leoni for picking, co-producing and starring in this intriguing show and to producer Barbara Hall for bringing another of her favorites from other shows into this one: great to see Tim Daly again. Enjoying the relationship between his character and Tea’s (married to each other).

Give this one a chance. http://www.cbs.com/shows/madam-secretary/

#reallylikethisshow Forever has an interesting premise, a good-to-excellent cast, and Sherlock-like mysteries/crimes to solve. Well-timed flashbacks give just enough to tantalize and inform slightly. What’s not to like?

Good to see Judd Hirsch, again (liked him in NUMBERS), and I like the dynamic between him and Ioan Gruffudd (the lead). Their actual relationship becomes apparent and is fascinating. Ioan Gruffudd and the police detective, Alana De La Garza, have great potential as well.

Also interesting to see one of the former interns from BONES working in another morgue-like setting (Joel David Moore) and Lorraine Toussaint in another role as a high-up police officer.

Give #Forever a whirl! Both the pilot and Episode 2 (playing in the same week for inexplicable reasons) were fun. http://abc.go.com/shows/forever

#fantasticTV Scorpion delivers, bigtime, especially if you like harrowing, fast-car and airplane antics, last-minute rescues and strange combinations of characters and plot. I like the “true-story” basis, with the backstory and complicated relationship between the Robert Patrick character (loved his irascible self on the X-FILES and his odd-ball, shapeshifting father on TRUE BLOOD, among other roles) and one of the leads,
Elyes Gabel.

Scorpion

Great to see Katherine McPhee in a non-singing, maternal-figure role and getting to play an action heroine as well. So far, so great! Had some great actors in bit parts for the Pilot which bodes well for future episodes.

Plus, the co-producers/exec producers is like a who’s who of film and TV producers that spans SCRUBS to STAR TREK to THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN to FAST & FURIOUS. Unique plot and effects combos can come from that crew!

If you liked and miss TOUCH, ALPHAS, SNEAKERS (film), and/or other ensemble cast of misfits shows in which they each showcase their talents/skills and solve problems/crimes and save lives, #Scorpion is for you. http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/

#ShondaRhimesdoesitagainTV I predict that Shonda Rhimes has another hit on her hands with How To Get Away with Murder. Strong female leads, especially African-Americans, are her specialty: THANKS for those, Shonda: great storylines, interesting supporting characters, fascinating peeks into medicine, politics, and now, law. Throw in parenting, marriage, college/graduate school, small business dynamics and sex and you can see the formula but it doesn’t feel formulaic at all.

I like the writing, by Peter Nowalk. Viola Davis was provided a nuanced, deeply troubled character to play: a brilliant role that Davis plays to perfection. Good to see [a very much blonder and thinner (why?)] Liza Weil (loved her in Gilmore Girl, among other series and guest appearances), Alfie Enoch (from Harry Potter movies, now all grown up and calling himself Alfred) again along with many surprise “new” and not-overused faces in this diverse cast.

VIOLA DAVIS

If you like courtroom/law and mixed-age dramas, you’ll like this! #Howtogetawaywithmurder does not disappoint! http://abc.go.com/shows/how-to-get-away-with-murder

#triteandprobablycancelledTV The Mysteries of Laura, with Debra Messing, should have been better. Instead, the script was predicatable and trite, many of the fine actors were wasted, there were too many car chase sequences, and her single-mom-as-crack-detective is not credible, if only because she keeps leaving her NOT pre-school (but billed as such) twin hellion boys with random staff and who knows whom to race off to solve crimes. Sure.

And no one predicted (SPOILER ALERT) that her soon-to-be-ex is her new boss. Right.

Messing looks great and has wonderful acting chops but is wasted in this travesty of a cop show. Give it a miss.

I did watch Episode 2, just so no one could say I made a hasty judgment. It was marginally better than Episode 1, but only in that they kept the fake pre-school-aged kids mostly out of it. Otherwise, The Mysteries of Laura is now is a parody of itself, cliches abounding. Too bad.

My prediction: #MysteriesofLaura will run probably 4 shows, tops. http://www.nbc.com/the-mysteries-of-laura

#beentheredonethatbetterthanthisTV Gotham was disappointing in almost every way. First of all, do the writers not understand anachronisms? E.g.:

  • 1) There would NEVER have been any people of color, much less any women, in high-ranking positions in either the police or organized crime syndicates when the character of Bruce Wayne was a child, yet this Episode, the pilot, had several in the PD and one in crime.
  • 2) Black women in that era did not dye parts of their hair bright red (probably didn’t even have the materials to do so), yet one character in this Episode had hair like that.
  • 3) The opening scene, intended to make the character of Jim Gordon as a rookie seem brave and clever just came off as his being arrogant and stupid, especially since the anti-psychotic pills the criminal was clamoring for did not exist in that era; that criminal, if he had been that psychotic, would have been in residential care (pre-Reagan, they ALL were); and, the PLASTIC bottle of aspirin did not exist yet, either.

Sheesh.

Next, why is the character of Alfred suddenly more Australian than British? Was that an accident or are the writers that ignorant of the original Batman story?

Finally, the story was improbably, boring, and untrue to the origins in too many other ways. Whenever any TV show or film spends a lot of time in “chases” or creepy entrances, we know they are short on plot and low on in-depth characterization.

Too bad. The original story and premise would have made great TV. Oh, wait; they already DID movies and a TV show about Batman. http://www.fox.com/gotham/

#anotherdisappointingspinoffTV NCIS New Orleans is not only disappointing but completely unnecessary. There was not one original moment in the entire first Episode of the series even though NCIS and NCIS Los Angelesgave this series a running start and even had many of the characters and the setting pre-trialed last year on NCIS.

What a waste of the many talents of Scott Bakula (he wasn’t even playing the piano live in the jazz music scene!), C.C.H. Pounder and the rest of the cast, writers, crew and director. Too bad. No wonder they don’t look happy in this promo shot…

NCIS NO

Even staunch fans of NCIS‘ other two shows, like my mom, didn’t like it. She and I agreed that it was BORING.

I give it a half season at best. #NCISNO is a no-go. http://www.cbs.com/shows/ncis-new-orleans/

October 2 and beyond:
#lookingforwardtoTV
Kathyrn Heigl’s new drama, State of Affairs (Mon., 11/17)

#suretoskipTV
Kate Walsh’s sure-to-be-short-lived “comedy,” Bad Judge (Thurs., 10/2, NBC)

#mightgiveitatryTV
Cristela Alonzo’s semi-autobiographical comedy, Cristela (Fri., 10/10, ABC)

#neverina1000yearsTV
Jane the Virgin (Mon., 10/13, CW) offends me just by the title.

Shows I already Skipped and I am not Sorry:
A – Z
The Affair
Black-ish
Constantine
The Flash
Gracepoint
Happy Land
Intruders
Kingdom
Manhattan Love Story
Marry Me
The McCarthys
Mulaney
Selfie
Stalker
Survivor’s Remorse
Utopia
Z-Nation